Starring in her second Posy Simmonds adaptation (after Stephen Frears’s Tamara Drewe), Gemma Arterton is again well cast in Anne Fontaine’s (Coco Before Chanel) breezily provocative romance that uses Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary as a starting point.
British couple Gemma Bovery (Arterton) and her husband Charles (Jason Flemyng) move to a charming, ramshackle farmhouse in the same Norman village where Flaubert wrote his masterpiece a century before.
Their neighbour, local baker and Flaubert expert Martin (Fabrice Luchini) becomes entranced by Gemma’s earthy, sensuous beauty and sets out to be her guide and mentor in these new surroundings; while inevitably comparing her to her literary (almost) namesake.
As reality intrudes on Charles and Gemma’s fantasy of French rural domesticity, Gemma finds herself at a romantic crossroads. Will she meet the same doomed fate as Emma?
Vastly engaging and enjoyable, this is a beautifully shot film that celebrates French provincial life whilst also offering a witty feminist commentary, cheeky literary thrills and seductive romance.